French Onion Soup Mix and Sour Cream
stop trying to do stuff and just hang out
things you’ll need: one packet of powdered french onion soup mix, one pint of sour cream, and things to dip.
invented by a British tea company to sell French onion soup to Americans in the 1950s, which tracks.
incidentally gluten-free as long as you read the labels, there are vegan soup mixes out there and plant-based cream cheese/sour cream/yogurt alternatives that capture the same joy.
Eat Well Enough is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
In 1988, Cari Costa had the best snacks and a Nintendo at her house. It wasn’t the only reason to hang out there, but it was compelling. The ritual was always the same, shoes piled next to backpacks in the same spot, every afternoon, and then to the kitchen. A blue box of soup mix was easy to spot in the pantry and, miraculously, there was always a pint of Daisy Sour Cream in the fridge on the top shelf, left side.
You weren’t there, but it sounds like a really good time.
You don’t want to go out. There was a time when you weren’t supposed to go out unless absolutely necessary. You hated it for a little while, then it started to feel familiar. Your bubble got smaller. You liked your little bubble. Sometimes the compulsion to do something faded into the background and there you found yourself, just hanging out and almost happy.
You got used to it and lost several of the fucks you used to give away. You have fewer now. The novelty, and (mild to wild) anxiety, of seeing people socially in public places hasn’t quite worn off. When you go out or find yourself in a room full of people, (small to all) parts of you just want to go home. Everyone in that room wants to go home, at least a little bit.
You think you aren’t as friendly as you used to be, but maybe you are just more You, and also who cares? Maybe everybody doesn’t deserve the whole You. Look at you! You are magnificent. Other people mostly suck and civilization (or so they call it) is one rotating shitshow after another. You don’t have to bother. You don’t have to go out. You don’t have to make a production or a plan or play nice.
Just hang out and eat snacks. It’s easier than going out and feels almost the same as not going anywhere, but with friends. Pick a friend. One of the good ones that sat with you over Zoom or on your front steps or whatever you needed so that neither of you went mad. Invite them over. Invite yourself over. Whoever goes to whomever’s, pick up a box of soup mix, a pint of sour cream, and a bag of chips.
Stir one whole packet into the pint of sour cream and then let it sit in the refrigerator while you remember that one time the two of you were in the same place, making the same memory, at the same time. Settle down. Settle in. Split the dip between you so you can double dip all you want.
You have seen each other at your worst and weirdest. They know you. Sometimes they help you remember when you forget who you are, but today you are just hanging out.
If you’d like to support this work, please consider becoming a paid subscriber. You can also give a gift subscription, hit that “Like” button, share, forward, follow on Instagram (@eatwellenough), or otherwise spread the word about this project.
I keep going because you keep reading.
Leave a comment or drop a line at firstname.lastname@example.org